Attention Must Be Paid

Ntarama Health Clinic, March 2019 (Photo: Chrystal Ding)
Ntarama Health Clinic, March 2019 (Photo: Chrystal Ding)

Chrystal Ding was the third winner of the Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award, which was set up to honour the late photojournalist.

The award was set up in 2016 to help early-to-mid career photographers, funding a project which “focuses on human stories with a social or political context”.

Ms Ding won the £2,000 prize for her proposal to create portraits of survivors of the Rwandan genocide, as well as heir therapists, along with commentary in the form of letters from survivors to the people supporting them.

During 100 days in 1994, Hutu extremists killed about 800,000 people, as they set out to exterminate Rwanda’s minority Tutsi community – as well as their political opponents, irrespective of ethnic origin.

The title of Ms Ding’s winning project is Attention Must Be Paid (taken from the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller).

The photographer believes that society must pay attention to those who suffer, and also to the healing qualities of the attention received in therapy.

Ntarama Health Clinic, March 2019 (Photo: Chrystal Ding)

Ms Ding describes the project as a “personal and challenging” endeavour. She will work with charities supporting recovery programmes for Rwandans who were in their infancy during the genocide. “I can’t wait to get started,” she said.

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